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January 16 2012
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The Importance of Being Purple

Our Studio Manager Jamie-Lee talks about the often irrational desires that drive product choices and asks that she as a purple-loving consumer be remembered during the design process.

I have never considered myself to be of a shallow or materialistic nature but of late I have been forced to reconsider. In our recent post ‘PDD’s 12 Gifts of Christmas‘ I confessed that I asked Santa to leave a shiny new sewing machine under my tree. Except that it’s not a shiny new machine I am after at all.

Image Credit www.solarnavigator.net

Admittedly, I have never been in control of a sewing machine so as a beginner, sensible, perhaps obvious considerations when choosing one of the numerous machines on the market should have been; ease of use, how simple are the instructions, does it come with any ‘how-to’ extras? Yet my only stipulation was something which looks beautiful and authentically vintage. Despite vehement protestation from a family member (a London College of Fashion graduate) about the impracticality of such machines I remain undeterred – I do not want a plastic monstrosity no matter how easy it is to rustle up a wedding dress on it, and my heels will stay dug in!

Please bear with me whilst I get a little nostalgic. Many years ago I spent far too much money in far too few minutes on a car. A T-Reg Renault Mégane convertible. It had a 1.8 sports engine ergo it was not economical. It had 2 doors therefore it was not practical. It was in the region of £6000 thus it was not affordable. It was, however, black with alloy wheels and a roof that retracted when you pushed a button on the dash. Was it a head-turner? Of course it was, and that is what’s important!

Image credit www.ghdpurplestraightener.net

More recently I found myself in an unfortunate situation whereby my GHD straightening irons failed due to an electrical fault. Although GHD‘s are billed as the best on the market my main reason for purchasing this particular model was again, nothing to do with performance or usability – I bought them because they were purple, hence my utter disappointment on receiving my replacement… a pair of plain black straightening irons.

Now the cold hard fact of the matter is that the replacement is a newer, sleeker model and is designed beautifully, furthermore they do exactly what they say on the tin, and oodles more. Unfortunately for me, what they are not, is purple!

Realising just how upset I was about this frankly irrelevant cosmetic discrepancy got me wondering, we seem to live in a world where consumers are so bombarded with choice that sometimes the only way to pick one is “because its pretty” so how do designers cater for completely irrational impulse buyers like myself? Those folk crazy enough to wear agonising shoes to a Christmas party simply because they are beautiful – there must be more of us out there, so when and how are we considered in the design process? Are we considered at all? Who is it that gives us a voice? How would our lovely trends team go about finding out how to trigger the impulses to make us want to buy, and how is it decided which design trumps another? These, amongst infinite others, are questions that drive the PDD studio every-day so if you were reading this post looking for answers then I must apologise for leading you up the garden path, we can’t go giving away all of our trade secrets after all. But as for those shoes, they really are fabulous…

 

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@pddinnovation

Languages spoken: Global.
The last thing that inspired me: Design and Innovation.
My dream project: A project that makes a difference in the world.
My obsession: Develop successful, award-winning and world-first products and experiences.

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